Trafford Council has published details of its budget proposals for 2018/19 and set out plans to ensure households will be paying less council tax in Trafford than anywhere else in the North West.
Under the plans there will be no cuts or job losses and the proposals include – car parking charges will be reduced from 70p to 20p for thirty minutes in all council car parks, and all day parking will be reduced from £7 to £5; with nearly £5 million allocated for adult social care and £1 million for children; library fines will also be scrapped; £14,4 million will be spent on highways and road improvements for the next three years.
Leader of the Council, Sean Anstee, said: “Over many years, my administration has chosen to take pro-growth, commercial and investment decisions, sometimes opposed, but are now proving their worth by putting the Council in a financial position to invest in the priorities residents and businesses have shared with us. We have chosen to invest carefully and our meticulous planning in recent years is now starting to pay off.
‘In dealing with the very challenging financial pressures facing Trafford, our focused economic growth and income generation policies has resulted in more people than ever wanting to live and do business in our borough.
‘The financial impact of developing these policies means that we are able to retain the high-quality services that we are renowned for in Trafford.
‘The Council continues to strive to find the right balance between keeping Council Tax low and raising the money we need to fund our essential services.
‘We’re proud that our plans to ensure households will continue to have the most value for money Council Tax with residents paying less in Trafford than anywhere else in the North West.
‘As we look to our future, we have set out exciting plans to further invest in our communities making sure we remain the best place to grow up and live in the country.”
Details of the budget, due to be considered at the Council’s Executive Committee and by full Council on Wednesday 21 February, include:
£4.9m for adult social care, £1m for children’s services.
£14.4m for highways and road improvements over the next three years, in addition to the £2m being spent between now and end of March 2018.
£350k reinvestment into the revenue budget to fund schools crossing patrols to help ensure pupils arrive at school safely.
Abolishing all library fines. From April 2018, the borough will have a completely free to use loan service, reinforcing the Council’s commitment to all of its existing libraries alongside new libraries, in Old Trafford, Hale, Altrincham and Timperley.
A minimum of £30m public sector investment into leisure across Trafford, including two new Leisure Centres in Stretford and Altrincham and the refurbishment of Sale and Urmston Leisure Centres alongside plans for Partington as new housing development progress.
Up to £40m in private sector partnership investment, including the George H Carnall leisure centre site as the new home of the Manchester Giants alongside a healthcare and wellbeing hub, green gym and key worker accommodation.
Extra support for town and village centres with cheaper car parking charges, with the return of 20p for half an hour, the introduction of 1 hour and 1.5 hour price points and reduction of the all-day charge from £7 to £5.
- £5.3m of further investment in the public realm to support the regeneration in Altrincham and Stretford and further plans to be brought forward for Sale.
- An end to child burial charges with the removal of fees for children under 18.
- Roll out of 400 new trio recycling bins in town centres and parks through the One Trafford Partnership.
A Council spokeswoman said”Over many years, the Council has invested in our town centres and major regeneration schemes, like those at Lancashire County Cricket Club, alongside establishing a £300m investment fund last year to generate further revenue to support services that matter to our residents and businesses.
“Over the last seven years, the Council has been required to make savings in the order of £161.47m and has done so whilst continuing to provide crucial services as well as many of the everyday services our residents tell us they want to see.
” This year, the Council has responded to its ongoing financial challenge by pursuing policies that promote economic growth and new housing, as well as prudently investing our own funds, and as a result, has brought in nearly £17m of additional income. Growing our business base, by supporting and encouraging inward investment, has brought in £5.4m alone through the 100 percent business rates retention pilot introduced by the Government.”
The full budget report will be available in the ‘About Your Council’ section of www.trafford.gov.uk under Council Budget Reports following the Executive meeting.